Mumbai: Stocks today ruled steady after hitting fresh life highs earlier in the day. In the opening session, the Sensex hit 34,000 for the first time and the Nifty 10,515 on the back of buying by funds in realty, metal and healthcare.

At 1203 hours, the 30-share BSE index came back to its base level, down 14.19 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 33,926.11. On the NSE, the 50-share Nifty fell below the key 10,500 level, at 10,492.70, barely unchanged. NTPC lost big time, down 1.03 per cent, followed by M&M and Coal India. Gainers include Sun Pharma, Asian Paints and Yes Bank.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 107.87 crore yesterday while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) took equities to the tune of Rs 371.53 crore.

Asian markets were mixed in trading, thinned by year-end holidays, as several regional markets reopened after the Christmas break.

PTI